The majority of marketing leaders world-wide are using data-driven marketing strategies to improve their organisation’s operations and processes. In both B2C and B2B spaces, marketing has become more data-centred and data-driven in order to drive more relevant campaigns, improve customer experiences, build more appropriate products and services, and even attract more clients.
Companies are increasingly reliant on data to support their strategies and decision-making processes. This need for data and insights is no different when it comes to the marketing function. Data plays a crucial role in helping marketers demonstrate their value to the rest of the organisation – this includes sales and the Board. More marketers are embracing data as a key tool for demonstrating their value and contributing to the success of the organisation as a whole. Indeed, executive marketing leaders from across the HotTopics community have shared the ways they and their teams are becoming more data-centric and what that has meant for the future of their function.
Learn more about how data-driven marketing can update and evolve current marketing strategies, and discover how organisations are implementing this today.
Plaid’s Marketing Lead, Angela O’Connell, shared her thoughts on data-driven marketing at The Studio, HotTopics’ bi-annual industry event for marketing and technology leaders. Her view was that marketing is becoming more data-driven and that “big strategic decisions” taken from campaigns are now rooted in insights and data from consumers and clients.
In the same roundtable, Oliver Pilgerstorfer, CMO at IFS, argued that insightful marketing and being more data-driven allows marketers to have that “next level of credibility”. Remarking on this fixation on data, Oliver said that stakeholders in his organisation are focused on growth-driven numbers; he noted that marketers would benefit from making more informed decisions using data.
Emma Roffey, VP Marketing EMEAR at Cisco, explained that data is integral to the marketing function at the company. With a greater interest in the output of data, she said that the organisation has whole teams dedicated to data across the organisation, receiving insights and tracking data in different regions.
In an exclusive interview on B2B marketing and innovation, data and analytics leader Tehmina Shah remarked that there is more first-party data available to marketers. This includes financial data, customer data and product systems data. On the other hand, she pointed out that organisations have struggled to leverage the data they have at hand. She advised marketers to consider what data they want and how they plan to use it.
Benefits of data-driven marketing
Data-driven marketers achieve their organisation’s data-centric goals by using content, campaign and performance marketing. This includes SEO research, analysing market trends, email marketing metrics and competitor analysis.
It’s common knowledge among executive marketers that there are myriad of benefits to gain from data-driven marketing – all of which can help make more informed decisions, optimise campaigns and achieve their business goals more effectively.
The top three benefits include:
Adopting a data-driven approach allows marketers to stay ahead of the game when it comes to marketing trends and techniques. This competitive advantage is more apparent when compared to organisations using more traditional forms of marketing. By leveraging data to drive crucial marketing decisions, businesses can improve their operations and achieve greater success in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace.
More informed decisions
Analysing data such as market trends, demographic data, thermographic data, intent, behavioural data and competitor analysis can significantly help marketers create targeted and personalised campaigns that are more likely to resonate with their intended B2B audience. Marketers can gain a deeper understanding of their customers by studying their behaviour, preferences, and needs.
Improved customer engagement
One of the main advantages of data-driven marketing is to help marketers better understand customer preferences, and tailor their messaging and vision to their findings. This leads to more engaging campaigns that drive greater customer engagement and loyalty from the target audience while building lasting relationships. In demonstrating that the organisation understands the consumer’s needs, marketers can provide them with a more effective and positive experience.
With an abundance of advantages, it must seem like the only way is up with the data-driven marketing method. However, there are some potential disadvantages to consider:
The hidden cost
In order to implement a data-driven marketing strategy, it requires a significant investment in the organisation’s technology, staff and overall framework. While this may be easy to do in theory, this requires the Board’s backing and a well-prepared action plan to justify your investment.
Loss of creativity
An over-reliance on using data to drive insights in marketing strategies can lead to a loss of creativity. While sticking to the numbers might be considered the better option, it’s important to consider that the marketing function needs to experiment and innovate with their own ideas. Marketers need to determine how much data they can use without haemorrhaging their creative talent.
Sloppy data strategy
Without proper planning and execution, using a data-driven marketing strategy is not going to get an organisation very far. Efficient planning can entail dealing with issues such as data quality and privacy concerns, ensuring that the data being used is reliable, accurate and transparent in order to solidify the data strategy.
Data has proven to be a valuable asset in all aspects of business. And marketing is no different. The HotTopics marketing leaders community has highlighted the benefits and uses of data-driven marketing and how it can create seamless customer experiences while allowing marketing leaders to make more informed decisions.
While this gives organisations a competitive edge, there are important things to consider when implementing a data-driven marketing strategy, especially when there isn’t an effective data strategy in place to carry this out. In short, when well-prepared a data-driven marketing strategy is a must-have for the modern day marketing department, but the relative success of your campaigns will be determined on the quality of research, information and activation of that data. That is what will separate a good data approach from a great one.
Looking to brush up on the latest marketing community insights? Take a look at the following thought leadership content:
- How to be a Successful Marketing Leader in 2023
- Insightful Marketing: Data, Analytics and the B2B CMO
- Cutting Through the Noise: Innovation in Marketing Roundtable
A reminder for B2B marketing leaders in the technology sector: the nomination window for the B2B CMO 100 will be closing on February 22nd. If you haven’t done so already, nominate your winner now.